Starship Cat Press

Starship Cat Press is a small independent press publishing the works of Leigh Kimmel.


The Workhouse War

An afternoon for sketching in peace -- that was all Nadine Darby wanted. She thought she was taking a shortcut to get past an overgrown levee and gain a better view of the Mississippi for some landscape work. Instead she ended up somewhere else. A place called Elyssium, where the past walks alongside the present. Where you can see a modern car pull up and a Confederate Navy officer climb out, talking on a cellphone.

On the riverbank Nadine met a strange little man who told her he was an artist as well, and showed her his sketchbook to prove it. But no sooner had Nadine made her first friend than she discovered all was not well. She watched in helpless horror as a young man was pursued, arrested and beaten by thugs from an institution that goes by the official name of the City Orphanage, but is generally called the Workhouse by the inhabitants of Port of White Fleet.

Nadine can count herself fortunate that she fell into the company of a man who has little use for this organization. But his efforts to help her attain her artistic ambitions instead attract the attention she must avoid, and draws her into quarrels that have simmered for decades.

Can Nadine thread her way through the myriad perils of this world and save herself and her new-found friends? And even if she defeats the Workhouse, will it be at the cost of losing everything she's found here?

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Khuldhar's War

The war was over, but where was the peace the victors had promised?

Geidliv the Tyrant was dead, and the rogue nation of Karmandios now lay in ruins, its people prostrate before the occupying armies of the five allied nations. But now the winners are quarreling among themselves, and where brothers fight, enemies will enter to widen the gap.

Merekhet is a man torn between competing loyalties, tormented by guilt over his past failures. Raised the scion of a Karmandi noble family, he discovered upon puberty that he was in fact the son of a senior war commander of the telepathic People of the Hawk. Yet he could not entirely disavow his mother's people, and thus became entangled in Geidliv's regime and his nephew Khuldhar's doomed attempt to fight it.

Now Merekhet has evidence that Geidliv used telepathy and the bioscience of the mer-people to create a living weapon from Khuldhar's genetic material and hid it in plain sight. Worse, a former ally now estranged is seeking that weapon, and must not be allowed to capture it, lest all the world of Okeanos fall to far greater tyranny than Geidliv could ever have hoped to create.

Merekhet must regain Khuldhar's confidence, and together they must find the five young men who are the keys to Geidliv's final vengeance weapon.

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Short Fiction

The Columbian Exposition has transformed Chicago into a vision of the bright shining future. However, the electric lights that turn night to day bring no joy to Kitty Hawthorne, and not just because they are the work of her employer's chief rival. Now Edison wants her to abandon her investigation of Tesla's alternating current system and look into a mysterious newcomer. Who is Samuel Gillian, who devises calculating machinery as easily as he builds flying machines?

As Frank Correra brings his family to a lunar settlement to get them away from a worsening political situation on Earth, he reminisces about how he and his wife met.

Frank had always dreamed of the skies. As a clone of an astronaut who subsequently became a US Senator, Frank thought he had a clear path ahead of him. But when it comes time to apply for the Air Force Academy, it is an election year. His ur-brother can't promise a nomination until he's won another term, and this year promises a hard race to run. When the other side puts up an ugly attack ad, can Frank find a way to discredit it before it destroys his ur-brother's chance of re-election, and with it Frank's slot at an Academy appointment?

A Gus on the Moon story.

The Wonderful Traveling Medicine Show

Surrounded by a family who were happy with life in their West Virginia mining town, Janeen struggled against the pressure to keep her head down and conform. A dreamer, everyone said, Just like her father. And look what that got him, dead in the Turkish war. But Janeen knew she was meant for a wider world, and one day it came to her in the form of a broken-down steamer and its mysterious owner.

She Dreams Day and Night

Nancy White they called her, a good, solid name for a troubled girl. But she knew her father had called her by another name, before he disappeared through the gate into another world of strange stars and stranger moons. No matter how hard the staff of Hildred House try to force her to forget, she remembers. And longs to reopen the gate, to rejoin her father on that alien shore where cloud-waves break.

Perfect Darkness

What would perfect darkness look like? And what would happen if you saw it? When Pavlik becomes obsessed with the idea of seeing perfect darkness, it becomes a distraction from the pod's duty as asteroid miners. Little does he know that danger lies in opening one's mind to the things that lurk in perfect darkness. Things that endanger his pod-brothers, even all of Briar's Children.

The Shadow over Leningrad

In Stalin's Soviet Union, Tikhon Grigoriev lives a precarious life. He knows too much. He's seen too much. A single misstep could destroy him, and if he stumbles, he will take his family down with him. With Leningrad besieged by Nazi armies, the danger has only increased.

He's not a man who wants to come to the notice of those in high places. But when he solved a murder that seemed supernatural, impossible, he attracted the attention of Leningrad's First Party Secretary.

So when a plot of land grows vegetables of unusual size and vigor, and anyone who eats them goes mad, who should be called upon to solve the mystery but Tikhon Grigoriev. However, these secrets could get him far worse than a bullet in the head. For during the White Nights the boundaries between worlds grow thin, and in some of those worlds humanity can have no place.

The Other Side of Midnight

Life has been a nightmare for Mitya ever since he was arrested on trumped-up charges and exiled to Siberia. But this labor camp in the far north of Magadan Oblast hides a secret far more terrible than the merely human evils of the Great Terror. For the universe we know is not the only one, and there are places where it interpenetrates with universes where the laws of nature as we know them do not operate, where humanity has no place. Worlds inhabited by beings ancient and terrible, to whom humanity are slaves, playthings, food.

All the Little Hedgehogs

The Lower Volga Special Bio-Research Laboratory is one of the Soviet Union's most closely guarded secrets. Yona Feldberg didn't even know it existed until the day Academician Voronsky arrived at the Suvorov School and took him away from the austere life of a military cadet.

Here Yona learned why he, the son of a KGB labor camp commandant, should have been placed in a school to train the Soviet Army's future officers: he is a clone of one of the Red Army officers murdered in the Great Terror. However, his extraordinary talent for genetics makes him more valuable as the Academician's personal student, learning the technology of gene splicing alongside the Academician's adopted son.

But privileges can be revoked, as Yona discovers when he runs afoul of the local guardians of propriety. Now he will get a different kind of education, in the darker secrets of the Soviet cloning program

Grandmaster's Gambit

The disastrous war of 1913 is over, and young journalist Isaak Babel has used his fame as a war correspondent to win a peacetime job covering an international chess tournament in New York City. However, trouble is aboard the airship Grossdeuschland, in the form of the notorious Bolshevik terrorist Koba and his henchmen. Men with a dark plan, and New York City will not welcome their visit.

The Sound of One Child Crying

Who is the child Reza can hear crying every time she goes to the new addition to the Royal Library? Her boss insists there is no child, that it is nothing more than her uncanny sensitivity to the unseen world making a nuisance of itself.

Worse, searching for answers gets her angry rebukes about respect for the dead. The further Reza goes, the more certain she becomes that someone is hiding an ugly secret.

It's a secret that traces back two generations, to a dark period in this land's history. A time most people would prefer to forget, not caring that denial doesn't make a problem go away.

The truth may set you free, but not without a price. And Reza fears that death itself might turn out to be an easier price than the one demanded of her.

Ice Storm

Everywhere Evangeline looks, a thin coating of ice makes objects gleam in the sunlight. However, the beauty proves deceptive, for it hides a deadly secret, one only she can recognize.

In her youth, Evangeline had aspired to master the powerful magics of her world. Those dreams died the day her Gift awakened uncontrolled and plunged her into a vision of a full fleet battle. The Admiral's Gift will not be denied, and for Evangeline there was no choice but to trade her mage's robes for Navy blue.

Now she is faced with an enemy she cannot fight save by magic. Except those who bear the Admiral's gift are forever barred from working magic.

The Moon Mirror

Chelsea Ayles dreamed of going to the Moon since she was a child. Now her dream job at NASA has turned into a nightmare, thanks to those many blood-sucking arachnids. Yeah, politics, as in a Senator accusing her of destroying America's priceless heritage because she chose the moonrocks that were used to make a proof-of-concept mirror segment for a lunar telescope project. Now the mirror sits in her office like a bitter mockery of what might have been -- until the day her reflection turns into a handsome stranger who calls himself the Man in the Moon and offers her visions of a world that might have been. Visions that ignite a longing of an intensity she hasn't known since she was in grade school and watched videos of the Apollo lunar missions in science class.

The Stirge

When Liphrel's family fell too far on their debts, he was sold to the priests of the death god. But his family were followers of the birth goddess, which left him in a difficult position.

The Wolf and the Well-Tempered Clavier

While practicing the organ music for the upcoming coronation of the new king, the cathedral choir director accidentally awakens an ancient menace from long before humanity came through the worldgate to this place. Now it is up to his apprentice, Miss Anne Teesdale, to discover the nature of the threat and disable it so the Great Organ is usable in time for the coronation. His Majesty must not be displeased.


The Implementation of the Library Computer System (LCS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Originally the author's thesis for a master's degree at Illinois State University, this work examines the history fo library automation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from the earliest beginnings through the implementation of the Library Computer System (LCS) under the leadership of Hugh Atkinson to the creation of the ILLINET Online (IO) system. All of the chainges are studied in teh contest of the Illinois Board of Higher education (IBHE) mandate for library resource sharing throughout Illinois' academic libraries to reduce expenditures while maintaining quality scholarship and education, and of the effects these changes had on library services to the user population.

The process of implementing LCS is studied to show the way in which the library administration handled the various crises as they arose and what effects these decisions had on the long-term structure of the system. Following implementation, it continues to study the subsequent developments of the online computer system to increase service to the library's users. In addition, three doctoral dissertation are examined which used LCS as a research tool for the study of collection and use patterns in academic libraries. Finally, the author examines the results of automation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the context of the academic community and the state of Illinois at large, and draws conclusions from them.

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Last updated March 6, 2017.